the start of the decade saw the Oil take Ales Hemsky 13th overall, and although they did manage to find some household names in later rounds between 2002 and 2004 like Jarret Stoll and Matt Greene in the second round of '02, these three years were fairly futile, wasting first round picks on Jesse Niniimaki 15th in '02, MA Pouliot in 2003, and both Devan Dubnyk (14) and Rob Schrem (25) in 2004. It's debatable whether Andrew Cogliano at 25th in 2005 is a decent pick...he's lost the form that he showed in his great rookie season. Taylo Chorney at 36th and Danny Syvret at 81 looked like decent picks at the time but haven't really panned out. The best of 2006 was the third round selection of Theo Peckham, and although they did select budding star Linus Omark in the 4th round in 2007 they also dropped the ball in a big way. With three first round picks that year they did take Sam Gagner 6th overall, which isn't a bad pick still, but at 15 Alex Plante and 21 Riley Nash out of Jr. A would be a lot better considering they could have easily been Logan Couture (the most recent NHL rookie of the month) and David Perron.
Ever since the strike out in 2007 the Oil have done very well though. 2008 they stole Jordan Eberle at 22nd...how he fell that far is beyond me. The next year they got Magnus Paajarvi at 10th, and Anton Lander at 40th. 2010 was a show of draft prowess. Yes, they got the first overall pick, but it appears they got it right too as Taylor Hall skyrockets and Tyler Seguin who entered the draft ranked 1st and has had a slow start in Bean Town. If you look at their next four picks it's astounding the talent they turned up: Tyler Pitlick at 31, Martin Marincin at 46, Curtis Hamilton at 48 and Ryan Martindale at 63.
The future is bright in Edmonton. Few, if any, teams can match their prospect depth, and the past three drafts salvage a B for them, just barely.